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Thread: Impeachment Inquiry of Donald John Trump

  1. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    It would seem to me that what independents are doing is extremely critical here. The states he won to turn the election he just barely won and those people were all independents who turned it. Many said they voted for Trump because either they didn't like HRC at all (she was too well known by then) or why not simply take a chance.

    Well now they know Trump like they knew HRC. He is better that HRC still? Democrats don't have a stirring slate but they also don't have a polarizing HRC running either. As for the ones who said let's take a chance will they say my chance vote was a wise one or say what the hell was I thinking?
    Agreed, it will turn on the independents. And that doesn't bode well for Trump, especially with his daily batshit meltdowns.

    I wouldn't doubt that there are people that'll vote against him just get him out of the White House.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  2. #167
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    Well, if he does lose, he always has the option of claiming MASSIVE voter-fraud and deep-state conspiracy and refusing to leave. Pretty sure the sheep will believe that too.

  3. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    Well, if he does lose, he always has the option of claiming MASSIVE voter-fraud and deep-state conspiracy and refusing to leave. Pretty sure the sheep will believe that too.
    Yep, he's already claimed massive voter fraud for his 2.8 million vote loss to Clinton in 2016, so it's a lead-pipe cinch that he'll do that again.

    As far as refusing to leave...I don't think there is anything that would give me greater pleasure than to see him try that. Or to see how his sheep react.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  4. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Yep, he's already claimed massive voter fraud for his 2.8 million vote loss to Clinton in 2016, so it's a lead-pipe cinch that he'll do that again.

    As far as refusing to leave...I don't think there is anything that would give me greater pleasure than to see him try that. Or to see how his sheep react.
    Don't forget that some of the sheep are armed and already borderline nutters. If Trump refuses to leave office after a loss there is a genuine possibility that people will die, and not just the crazy ones. Obviously trump won't care about that, but it won't be great for the US.


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  5. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    Don't forget that some of the sheep are armed and already borderline nutters. If Trump refuses to leave office after a loss there is a genuine possibility that people will die, and not just the crazy ones. Obviously trump won't care about that, but it won't be great for the US.
    That's certainly a possibility.

    It's really the only thing that I dread about Trump involuntarily leaving office.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  6. #171
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    Fox News Poll: Record Support For Trump Impeachment
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/fox...mp-impeachment

    Just over half of voters want President Trump impeached and removed from office, according to a Fox News Poll released Wednesday.

    A new high of 51 percent wants Trump impeached and removed from office, another 4 percent want him impeached but not removed, and 40 percent oppose impeachment altogether. In July, 42 percent favored impeachment and removal, while 5 percent said impeach but don’t remove him, and 45 percent opposed impeachment.

    Since July, support for impeachment increased among voters of all stripes: up 11 points among Democrats, 5 points among Republicans, and 3 among independents. Support also went up among some of Trump’s key constituencies, including white evangelical Christians (+5 points), white men without a college degree (+8), and rural whites (+10).

    Among voters in swing counties (where Hillary Clinton and Trump were within 10 points in 2016), support for impeachment increased to 52 percent, up from 42 percent in July.

    A lot has happened since the July Fox poll on impeachment -- namely, the launch of an impeachment inquiry in the House following allegations Trump improperly pressured Ukraine to investigate the Bidens’ dealings in that country. The 9-point increase in support for impeachment since July, however, doesn’t appear to be based solely on the latest allegations. To that point, more Democrats favor impeaching Trump (85 percent) than consider his call with Ukraine’s president an impeachable offense (76 percent). The same holds true among independents: 39 percent favor impeachment, while 30 percent describe the Ukraine call as impeachable.

    The 4-in-10 voters opposing impeachment give a variety of reasons, including: Trump did nothing wrong (21 percent), it is politically motivated (20 percent), and don’t believe allegations (15 percent).

    Approval of Trump’s job performance is down a couple points to 43 percent, while 55 percent disapprove. Last month, it was 45-54 percent. Currently, 86 percent of Republicans approve compared to 89 percent in September.

    Some 51 percent of voters think the Trump administration is more corrupt than previous administrations, up from 46 percent last month.

    By a 66-25 percent margin, voters say it is generally inappropriate for Trump to ask foreign leaders to investigate political rivals.

    When asked about Trump’s phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart that is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, 17 percent believe it was appropriate. Most either describe it as an impeachable offense (43 percent) or as inappropriate but not impeachable (27 percent).

    Trump has called the Ukraine phone call “perfect.” Even some Republicans aren’t convinced: 9 percent say it was an impeachable offense, 38 percent inappropriate but not impeachable, and 36 percent appropriate.

    Overall, by an 11-point margin, more voters believe Trump is “getting what he deserves” rather than that the impeachment inquiry is driven by “people out to get him.”

    During President Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment, by a 3-point margin, more thought “people were out to get” him than believed Clinton was “getting what he deserved.”

    Meanwhile, voters think President Trump is just out for himself. Fifty-five percent overall and 18 percent of Republicans say he is doing what’s best for Trump. Thirty-nine percent think he puts the country first.

    Thirty-eight percent find the situation surrounding Trump’s dealings with Ukraine extremely troubling, while 19 percent say the same about the allegations about Biden and his son’s business dealings in Ukraine.
    ______________________

    Fake News! The Liberal Lamestream Media is clearly out to get President Trump by any means and this proves....oh, it's Fox News. That's awkward....

    Priceless Post From The Comments Section: "Hahahahahaha oh and Hillary won the election in a landslide according to the same people...what a joke. Fox News is now part of the Fake News cabal."

    I've always thought it hilarious when liberals would eat their own...now it's Trump's enraged Kool-Aid drinkers turning on his favorite state-sponsored propaganda network that makes me chortle.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  7. #172
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    Trump lashes out at Fox News over impeachment poll numbers: 'Whoever their Pollster is, they suck.'
    President Trump turned on his erstwhile favorite news channel, Fox News, in a pair of tweets Thursday touched off by a new Fox News poll that found a majority of Americans want to see him impeached and removed from office.

    “From the day I announced I was running for President, I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll,” Trump tweeted. “Whoever their Pollster is, they suck.”

    While the cable news channel features many Trump cheerleaders, notably primetime hosts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, the Fox News polling unit has a reputation of being nonpartisan.

    The president, though, was not done, singling out on-air personalities who have dared to criticize him.

    “[Fox News] is also much different than it used to be in the good old days,” Trump fumed. “With people like Andrew Napolitano, who wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice & I turned him down (he’s been terrible ever since), Shep Smith, @donnabrazile (who gave Crooked Hillary the debate questions & got fired from @CNN), & others, @FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be. Oh well, I’m President!”

    Trump reportedly speaks privately with Hannity on a regular basis and occasionally calls in live to his Fox News show. Journalists who follow Trump’s Twitter feed point out that he frequently mentions topics that were discussed on “Fox & Friends,” often within minutes.

    But it’s not the first time Trump has taken issue with Fox News over unfriendly poll results. In August, after Fox News polling data showed him trailing four potential Democratic opponents in the 2020 presidential race, the president struck a conspiratorial tone.

    “There’s something going on at Fox,” Trump told reporters. “And I tell you I’m not happy with it.”

    Trump’s latest critique came a day after a Fox News survey found 51 percent of registered voters support his impeachment and removal from office, a record high for the network’s survey, compared to 40 percent who do not. The last time Fox News polled voters on impeachment — in July — 42 percent of respondents favored impeachment and removal, compared to 45 percent who did not.

    The results are similar to other recent national polls that show growing support for Trump’s impeachment.
    ______________

    And to the surprise of absolutely no one, Trump demonstrates yet again his penchant for knifing in the back anyone who dares say anything less than obsequiously flattering about him.

    "Oh well, I'm President" That's an interesting thing to say. Of course you're President...are you trying to reassure yourself or something? Why would you possibly need to do that??
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  8. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Fake News! The Liberal Lamestream Media is clearly out to get President Trump by any means and this proves....oh, it's Fox News. That's awkward....

    Priceless Post From The Comments Section: "Hahahahahaha oh and Hillary won the election in a landslide according to the same people...what a joke. Fox News is now part of the Fake News cabal."

    I've always thought it hilarious when liberals would eat their own...now it's Trump's enraged Kool-Aid drinkers turning on his favourite state-sponsored propaganda network that makes me chortle.
    Hard core Trumpers are already turning on Fox and turning to even more extreme pro-Trump propaganda outlets. The question is if those on Fox who do not toe the Trump line will survive, or if they will be thrown to the mob in order to get the network 100% in lock step with Trump (as opposed to the current 95%).


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  9. #174
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    A Trump supporter:

    I honestly don’t think America has been in this good of a place for a very long time. America is in an incredible place right now. I don’t feel as if we’re losing democracy or that our morals are on the decline. I feel like we’re really having a restoration of a lot of morals and ideals. … It does feel like the fighting spirit of humanity is there. For a while people kind of felt ashamed to be American—especially under Bush, people hated America, and I feel like that carried through Obama, that melancholy. But it does feel like people are more optimistic about the direction we’re going, our status in the world. The respect that Trump gets from other world leaders and the ability to negotiate peace deals in what is a sticky horrible situation like North Korea. I don’t see how any of that could hurt Trump or hurt America.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2.../?srnd=premium

    Could someone tell me what planet I am living on since I don't recognize this America so I must be somewhere else? Nonetheless I now know of another person I don't respect.

  10. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    A Trump supporter:

    I honestly don’t think America has been in this good of a place for a very long time. America is in an incredible place right now. I don’t feel as if we’re losing democracy or that our morals are on the decline. I feel like we’re really having a restoration of a lot of morals and ideals. … It does feel like the fighting spirit of humanity is there. For a while people kind of felt ashamed to be American—especially under Bush, people hated America, and I feel like that carried through Obama, that melancholy. But it does feel like people are more optimistic about the direction we’re going, our status in the world. The respect that Trump gets from other world leaders and the ability to negotiate peace deals in what is a sticky horrible situation like North Korea. I don’t see how any of that could hurt Trump or hurt America.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2.../?srnd=premium

    Could someone tell me what planet I am living on since I don't recognize this America so I must be somewhere else? Nonetheless I now know of another person I don't respect.
    I don't know. I just don't know.

    We've got government officials at the highest levels in bed with people, in "love" with people, that just a few years ago, would've spelled their eternal political damnation.

    Things have been said, publicly and proudly, that would've had people literally standing in front of the White House with pitchforks and torches, baying for blood.

    Now, nobody seems to care. Because their hero is "just talking shit as usual". No big deal. Or because he's against abortion. Or pwning the libs.

    I keep asking "How did we sink this low"...but I guess the answer is, we were always this low, and all it took to give people the courage to say it out loud was a washed-up third rate con man from Queens.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  11. #176
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    Donald Trump distances himself from Rudy Giuliani: 'He has been my attorney'

    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump sought Friday to distance himself from attorney Rudy Giuliani, even casting doubts about whether the former New York mayor is still his lawyer.

    Asked whether Giuliani remained his personal attorney, Trump said: “I don’t know.”

    “I haven't spoken to Rudy,” Trump told reporters as he was leaving the White House for a political rally in Louisiana. “I spoke to him yesterday, briefly. He's a very good attorney and he has been my attorney, yeah sure.”

    Giuliani told USA TODAY shortly afterward that he’s still Trump's lawyer. “He hasn't told me otherwise,” he said.

    Giuliani has emerged as a central figure in the Ukraine scandal that has led to an impeachment inquiry against Trump over efforts to push Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential frontrunner.

    Trump’s remarks followed the arrest late Wednesday of two of Giuliani’s associates, Ukranian-born business partners Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, at Dulles International Airport. The two were arrested by FBI agents and charged with in connection with alleged schemes to funnel foreign money to U.S. political campaigns.

    Prosecutors say Parnas and Fruman helped Giuliani meet a Ukrainian prosecutor in the effort to gather dirt on Biden and his son Hunter, who once had business interests in Ukraine. Federal officials said Parnas and Fruman were arrested as they prepared to board an international flight with one-way tickets.


    On Thursday, shortly after the arrests were announced, Trump denied knowing the two Ukrainian business partners, dismissing a photograph that showed him with one of the men at the White House.

    Giuliani said he doesn't know if people in Trump's orbit are trying to get him removed.

    "If he wants to get rid of me, he can get rid of me – he's the client," Giuliani told USA TODAY. "I don't know of any reason that he would."
    ______________

    Man, watching this "Administration" is like watching Bill Murray's Groundhog Day: Yet another close Trump intimate is found to be in bed with criminals or Russians (in this case both) and Trump promptly starts in on the "I don't know" routine. Rinse, lather, repeat.

    Now he doesn't even know if Rudy is still his personal attorney. The same guy he assured the president of Ukraine was going "investigate" Hunter Biden...and now he "doesn't know".

    Wow...

    I wonder if Lindsey Graham will still want Rudy to testify in front of the Senate once Trump has thrown his carcass off the Trump Train.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  12. #177
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    sometimes i feel bad when the bus goes over someone whom worked for Trump. McMaster, Mattis, hell, even -Bolton-.

    but Giuliani? oh man, i hope i see the Trump bus roll over that guy a few extra times.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  13. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    sometimes i feel bad when the bus goes over someone whom worked for Trump. McMaster, Mattis, hell, even -Bolton-.

    but Giuliani? oh man, i hope i see the Trump bus roll over that guy a few extra times.
    Rudy has basically become Roy Cohn, and now Trump is discarding him too. Quite the fall.

    McMaster & Mattis got to keep their dignity & their freedom. Rudy has already lost the first and may yet lose the second.


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  14. #179
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    The Senate is likelier to remove Trump after impeachment than you think

    As the House of Representatives builds momentum to impeach President Trump, conventional wisdom holds that the constitutionally required two-thirds vote in the Senate to remove him would be impossible.

    This conventional wisdom is wrong.

    While getting rid of the president this way remains far from certain, it’s more likely than most observers will admit. And it’s becoming a stronger possibility day by day as Trump’s foreign policy stumbles remind GOP senators that speaking out against the president doesn’t have to be political suicide.

    Historically inclined naysayers cite the acquittals of our only two impeached presidents as support for the argument that Trump won’t be removed. Those examples, both of which ended with the commander in chief beating the charges against him and serving out his full term, on first blush do appear to bolster that case.

    Andrew Johnson’s experience in particular astounds to this day. After that president’s egregious behavior and manifest unfitness for office got him impeached by the Republican-dominated House in 1868, the Senate failed to remove him from office — by one vote. That result came despite the GOP holding a greater-than-two-thirds majority in the Senate.

    The wrong lesson, however, can be taken from Johnson’s nonconviction. Senators allowed the president to remain in place partly because they suspected the law that the president had violated to prompt his impeachment, the Tenure of Office Act, itself stood on particularly shaky ground. (It was, in fact, later ruled unconstitutional.) Other articles of impeachment against Johnson included “crimes” like speaking ill of Congress in public — which may very well have contravened a lingering norm from the early days of the republic but fell very well short of warranting immediate ejection from the presidency.

    Trump has caused more lasting damage than the surreptitious actions of Nixon, but an impeachment inquiry would be futile, argues Post columnist George F. Will.

    It’s hard to imagine Trump’s forthcoming impeachment resting on such weak foundations. Most likely, articles of impeachment against him will point to core abuses of power, obstruction of justice and failure to comply with lawful congressional subpoenas — and that’s if the House only chooses to highlight misdeeds related to the Ukraine debacle.

    What about the most recent failed conviction of an impeached chief executive? After Bill Clinton’s articles of impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice passed the House in 1999, GOP senators couldn’t muster even a majority vote to convict him on either article, much less the two-thirds needed to kick him out of the White House.

    But it’s worth recalling that Clinton’s acquittal came largely because his violations of law were intended to cover up a personal affair, not a matter of state, and were not seen as a persistent pattern of inherent unfitness. The situation now is quite different. Trump’s actions on the Ukraine scandal alone implicate the constitutional fabric itself, and they build on inappropriate activities described in detail in the scathing Mueller report. This all puts senators tasked with judging Trump in a different place than those who judged Clinton.

    The Senate-will-never-convict club can discount this history, pointing instead to congressional Republicans’ sycophancy during the past two years, and credibly say, “GOP senators are in lock-step with the president and will rally around their fellow Republican.” And indeed, getting 20 out of 53 Republican senators to agree to boot him from office won’t be easy under any circumstances.

    Trump, however, is far from an institutional Republican. He had never run for office as a Republican before the 2016 presidential election. From the 1980s into the Obama years, he donated more to Democratic candidates than to Republican ones. As late as 2004, he said he identified more as a Democrat than as a Republican.

    His party credentials contrast sharply with the most recent nearly impeached Republican president, Richard M. Nixon. By the time the Judiciary Committee voted on articles of impeachment against Nixon, he had been a steady partisan for almost 30 years: a Republican representative and senator from California from 1947 until 1953, vice president of the United States for eight years under Dwight D. Eisenhower, the party’s standard-bearer in the 1960 presidential election, Republican candidate in the 1962 California gubernatorial race and president since 1969.

    So when Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) in early August 1974 led a GOP triumvirate to the White House to tell Nixon that he’d lost the congressional support necessary to hold on to the presidency — telling him, “There’s not more than 15 senators for you” — he was addressing the man who many Republicans saw as the face of the party.

    Not so now. While the GOP has largely embraced Trump’s political program even where it breaks with long-standing party orthodoxy, he has earned little enduring loyalty within the establishment. Republican senators remain loathe to break openly with the president, but former senator Jeff Flake last month candidly assessed that 35 of his former GOP colleagues would vote to remove Trump from office if the poll were taken in private. “Anybody who has sat through two years, as I have, of Republican luncheons,” Flake also said, “realizes that there’s not a lot of love for the president.”

    Flake’s point has limited utility; a Senate trial of Trump would not end, of course, with a private vote. His observation nevertheless reveals a core truth: Republican support for Trump is highly instrumental, not fundamental. If the president’s overall approval rating sat above 60 percent (as Bill Clinton’s did during his impeachment trial), or if the majority of the American people opposed impeachment and removal as they did then, or even only if support among Republicans for Trump’s impeachment and removal remained in the single digits, fear of Trump’s tweets would probably keep GOP senators in line.

    Polls now tell a different story. Trump’s aggregated approval rating has never escaped the 35 to 45 percent band, keeping it stunningly short of Clinton’s overall numbers. Plus, a new Fox News poll shows 51 percent of respondents support impeaching and removing Trump. And a Washington Post-Schar School poll reveals that 18 percent of Republicans support his impeachment and removal.

    In this environment, even the small dose of political courage we’ve seen this week from Republicans on Capitol Hill matters. On the Ukraine affair, at least two GOP senators — Mitt Romney (Utah) and Ben Sasse (Neb.) — publicly expressed concern about the president’s actions. Before Trump’s angry tweets responding to Romney could become a headline story, the president’s decision to expose Kurds in northern Syria to Turkish attacks spurred much wider criticism from Republican senators, including firm Trump ally Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). Talk is cheap, yes. But coming on the heels of so many instances of GOP senators’ silence in the wake of Trump’s controversies, one can forgive The Post’s Shane Harris for calling it a “Republican rebellion.” Most importantly, the president uncharacteristically refrained from lashing out at those who disagreed with him.

    Political momentum has odd properties. When tides turn, they often turn quickly and harshly. While the basic math still points to a Senate acquittal, this week nevertheless brings to mind Winston Churchill’s words after the British victory at El Alamein in 1942: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
    __________

    Dunno if this is the case or not but the polls continue to march in a specific direction...and while Trump and his supporters love to disparage polls that don't satisfy their cognitive dissonance, the fact is that Senators, like all politicians, do pay attention to them.

    That last paragraph is telling. "when tides turn, they often turn quickly and harshly", as Richard Nixon found out.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  15. #180
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    It’s clear. Trump doesn’t want to be president anymore.

    With each passing day, President Trump flaunts his great and unmatched wisdom and so invites us to play armchair, arm’s-length therapists. So let me float an untested theory about what is unfolding before our eyes. And then let’s test it.

    What if the president wants out? There’s much about the job he never liked, which is one reason he spends so much time watching TV rather than actually doing it. Under normal circumstances, it involves any number of things he once avoided; shaking hands with germy people, being talked at by experts who know more than he, sitting still for extended periods, being criticized no matter what he does, empathizing — all important parts of the job. He has gone to considerable lengths to reshape the role, fired the experts, cleared his schedule, kept up his golf game … but still. The campaigning was fun, but the best evidence of how little he likes presiding is how seldom he’s actually done it.

    I got a glimpse of this before he even reported for duty. It was a few weeks after the 2016 election, and I interviewed him in his Trump Tower aerie. He was jovial, gracious, answered all the questions, was reveling in his impending power. As we were finishing, I asked if I could come back later and see him in the White House, to see how it was going. “Yes, of course,” he said. But then he paused and asked, “But … what if I don’t like it? What if I don’t want to do it anymore?” Sometimes half-joking questions are the most serious.

    He has claimed so often to love being president that it’s easy to think he protests too much. And he’d hardly be the first to be restless: Harry S. Truman called the White House the “great white jail.” Bill Clinton dubbed it “the crown jewel of the federal penal system.” Most presidents endure the serial stresses of hard decisions, the weight of making life-and-death choices, all the teetering values and visions that leadership entails. They live with the fallout, find solace where they can, including in commiseration with their predecessors.

    Trump escapes the frustration of failing to accomplish his agenda by not having ever had one, beyond his continued exaltation. He could count this moment as a high point: record-low unemployment, still soaring stock markets, judicial transformation. It’s easy to imagine it’s all downhill — and fast — from here. His confidence in his supreme wisdom leads him to make even reckless decisions, such as his abandonment of America’s trust with its Kurdish partners, with no evidence of regret or remorse other than disliking the criticism for doing it. But ever since the Ukraine scandal erupted, his rage-tweeting and Wagnerian self-pity suggest that the incoming fire for his misconduct, occasionally even from his defenders and enablers, has made these days even less fun than usual.

    All of which raises the question: the release of the Ukraine information, the double-dare-you defiance of congressional oversight, the sellout in Syria, even the rising profanity of his Twitter stream each seem expertly suited to inflaming one constituency or another, and not just the people who have loathed him from Day One. The polls are moving for a reason: Republicans and independents, even those serving in Congress, may not agree where the line is, but they know there’s one somewhere, and it does not involve a shooting on Fifth Avenue.

    Consciously or not, might he conclude that impeachment and removal is his least bad option for escaping the “great white jail”? Resigning is out; that’s for quitters. Defeat in 2020 is worse; losing is for losers. But being impeached and removed from office is the one outcome that preserves at least some ability to denounce the deep state and the quislings in the Senate who stabbed him in the back, maintain his bond with his tribe, depart the capital and launch a media business to compete with the ever more flaccid Fox News. (This all presumes that President Pence pardons him, for which there’s some precedent.) Impeachment lets him go down fighting, and he will call it rigged and unfair and illegitimate and a coup, all of which would be harder if the verdict was rendered next November by millions of voters.

    So what would count as a sign of his escape velocity? Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump decamping for Manhattan. Trump issuing an executive order renaming Reagan National Airport after himself. He fires Elaine Chao and starts campaigning against Mitch McConnell in Kentucky. He kicks a puppy on the South Lawn, in front of the cameras.

    When you think about it, with a choice of bad options, impeachment doesn’t look so bad, and gets you home to your gilded tower sooner. Assuming, that is, that you don’t think you can just burn the Constitution to the ground and be the last one standing.
    __________________

    Despite what this op-ed opens with, it's been observable from the beginning, and comments from people (like Bannon and Cohen) that were close to Trump have borne it out:

    Trump never expected to win. Running for president was “the greatest infomercial in political history”. It was "always a marketing opportunity.”
    “Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great, He had no desire or intention to lead this nation, only to market himself and to build his wealth and power.”

    Trump never wanted to win: He was "disbelieving" when he won then "horrified" as it sunk in. You can see it on his face on Election Night https://i.imgur.com/Zp9mZ46.gifv

    That's probably the saddest part about the adulation that his supporters heap on him: Donald Trump doesn't give a single shit about them, or America, and never did.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

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